Anyone still running points with a module?

Discussion in 'Technical' started by PirateSteve, Feb 13, 2020.

  1. PirateSteve

    PirateSteve Member

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    Don't judge me. I like points.

    However. I recall there was a way to use points as a low ampre trigger for aftermarket ignition modules instead of a mag . Making the set of points last forever, and the added benefit of a 12 volt coil. I just can't remember what brands work. Can you trigger an msd box with points? Does anyone remember this?

    I know, there are benefits to things like the petronics ignitor mag pickup mod. And I myself am a big fan of the old silver Motorcraft box on the fender, but hear me out. How did you get home last time your electronic ignition went out? It was probably dark, most likely cold, and in many cases raining wasn't it? (Thanks Murphy) And I know, at 4000rpm and up most points begin to suffer lag from out spinning the return springs. I'm not spinning my Streeter that fast.

    So here's the idea. As long as I maintain my points, which should be easy since the contacts are handling miliampres, instead of roughly 4 amps. The system should be as reliable as a mag pickup. But here's the bonus. If the module fails, run a bypass from the coil straight to the points, and you're back on the road. And even if you're running a 12v coil, they should last long enough to get home, or to a parts store before the contacts fry.

    This post makes me feel so old:p
     
  2. 71gold

    71gold Frank Cooper Supporting Member

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  3. Krazy Comet

    Krazy Comet Tom

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    The beauty of a good electronic system is will fire plugs when points have long given up, no I'm not referring to a Pertronix Ignitor 1 & stock coil. Even as intended, single points are fine up to 5500 maybe 6000 RPMs(Of course need to be fresh). Dual points can fire coil to 6500 fairly reliably.

    The MSD 6AL could be driven by points(dunno about newer versions), has a wire just for purpose, as does the Crane Hi-6 on my Cobra. For last 20+ years that Hi-6(prev on 5.0 Mustang) has been driven by a Pertronix Ignitor. My insurance policy is a set of points, condenser & tools in the console just in case there is a failure. Can switch in less than 15 minutes, as of yet haven't needed them.

    Comet has a '80s remote TFI module triggered by points, works fine.

    Fairlane has points. On way home from OH, I pulled the Pertronix because of a misfire problem that I was already 99.99% was carb(PO inst new POS Chinese Motorcraft knockoff), didn't help. Tossed on the old Comet carb after I got home, fixed. Haven't bothered to switch back to Pertronix, will happen when I inst the 347.
     
  4. PirateSteve

    PirateSteve Member

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    New cars ignitions are all computer driven today, and for the most part have multiple failsafes. Even a dead coil just means an obnoxious misfire.

    I don't hate electronic ignition. I just severely distrust the aftermarket. Due mainly to personal experience and expense. I had a Mallory unilite leave me stranded about 3 times. and was costly each time. My first PerTronix failed in 50 miles or so. Almost all the times I had issues with points, car, truck or bike, it was quickly rectified on the side of the road. And a quality spare set costs less than $20. A spare Pertronix is $75+. The unilite module is a joke at $125. My 79 bronco came with factory duraspark, loved it. But I carried a spare module $50 new $10 used (can be aquired for free if you know the right people) . Failed once in 20 years. Was never stranded. Never had a ford pickup coil fail unless the leads were damaged either. So if I end up getting rid of her points. Duraspark has my vote. I just want a little hotter spark, inexpensively and reliably.
     
  5. PirateSteve

    PirateSteve Member

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    Hold on a sec. And it can be done with oem parts?
    Thanks, this is much more like what I'm trying for.
     
  6. Krazy Comet

    Krazy Comet Tom

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    Yep, check this out, my source for conversion info used on my Comet. Thinking about same for Fairlane.

    I wanted to use a Duraspark dist but found the TFI doesn't recognize it's pulse.

    Note must use the grey module, has internal dwell control, black ones are controlled by ECM. Rather than the specific remote mount module, I cut off the pins on a dist mount module. No issue.

    https://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/threads/tfi-using-points-how-to.374699/

    Testing prior to tidy up.

    Comettfi.jpg
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2020
  7. PirateSteve

    PirateSteve Member

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    This has got to be a sticky here somewhere.

    Oh super cool! I surfed around a bit too and some guy mentioned hiding it in the neak of his air cleaner. Both hiding it and keeping it cool. And that can keep it as stock/period looking in appearance as possible. Carry a spare points, module and a resistor, and keep the old coil in the trunk. Thanks much!

    Another thought, I see no reason why I can't put two on my old motorcycle (no dist, it fires 2 of 4 cylinders at the same time with 2 sets of points wired straight to dual coils) and again my points will last forever. But then again, isn't stopping to clean and adjust the points on a cross country motorcycle trip just part of the ambiance? The full experience?
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2020
  8. Krazy Comet

    Krazy Comet Tom

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    Not that I know of.

    Excepting for a couple other members, the general consensus seems to be, buy the shiny box that will(likely) sooner or later leave you setting by road side. OEM parts are almost always better & I like to use what's readily available. In 47 years my Cobra has been towed home ONCE. That was when I was going to swap toploader till orig could be rebuilt. Found the borrowed trans had different input shaft that didn't fit clutch. At that time was my only licensed vehicle, luckily I had a '64 Galaxie 500 I'd been thinking about retagging anyway.

    As long as module is mounted on the heat sink and has air flow, overheating should not be a problem. Also no resistor is required, both E coil and module are powered directly from 12v. Possibly with stock coil would be a good idea to use resistor.
     
  9. PirateSteve

    PirateSteve Member

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    The resistor is for the points, so they have some draw to prevent oxidation. But if you're not using one I guess it's not necessary. Some of the other things I read on this mentioned it.
     
  10. baddad457

    baddad457 Member

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    No matter what you do, a set of points will not last forever. The nylon rubbing block wears on the cam. Secondly, I ran a V8 Ranger for 10 years with a Pertronix I & II, then a Crane XR-1 and in that whole ten years, never had a failure. I'm currently running
    a stock Duraspark II in my 77 Comet with a reman 85 Stang distributor and it's been on the job for 7 years now. I don't see your reasoning for using points to fire an electronic unit.
     
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  11. mojo

    mojo "Everett"- Senior Citizen Supporting Member

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    I have been running DSII for 10+ years and over 15K miles, many road trips included. Never had an issue w/ the setup. Can't see any reason to include points in the mix; there was a reason automakers changed ignition setups. Going back to points for me, would be like giving up my TV remote controls -- not anytime soon...
     
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  12. stumanchu

    stumanchu Stuart

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    I am running the points driven TFI set-up. I re-curved my points distributor beforehand, and didnt want to give it up. I am planning to swap my motor for a roller 302, and will be faced with a gear change or a 75$ 85 mustang distributor with steel gear installed. I read somewhere that the GM 4 pin module will respond to the trigger in that distributor, or just get a duraspark set up? It is a bit in the future so I will have to research a bit and hunt down some stuff. I might see something in the junkyard that will make my mind up for me...lol.
     
  13. Krazy Comet

    Krazy Comet Tom

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    Then you bought junk points, the OEM used material similar to Bakelite. Unlike nylon, not affected by heat. As long as it gets a bit of lube once in awhile, the rubbing block will easily last 25-30K. No I'm not saying points are sliced bread & mothers milk, but they can last.

    For almost 40 years I serviced electronics, almost every day I ran up with failed components. When I was buying and selling transportation specials('80s), I replaced Duraspark modules almost weekly. I don't trust the stuff and as stated, keep a set of points at hand if it does quit.
     
  14. baddad457

    baddad457 Member

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    See this is where you're wrong. I ran many sets of points years ago, the time they lasted depended more on the spring tension, not the material the rubbing block was made of. I never bought "junk" points once I learned those did not last. The junkers also severely limited the rpms of the engine due to weak spring tension (points bounce, often confused with valve float to the uninitiated) The stiff spring points sets aka "performance" sets tended to wear the rubbing block faster but extended the rpm range by eliminating points bounce. Lube did very little to extend the life of the rubbing block in performance sets. And Duraspark modules have come a LONG way since the 70's and 80's. The module in my Comet is 7-8 years old now and doing fine. When Ford first came out with Duraspark in the mid 70's, the modules were junk, guys I knew that had them in 1-2 year old trucks replaced defective ones simply by shopping for trucks at the dealer's lots afterhours.
     
  15. 71gold

    71gold Frank Cooper Supporting Member

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    "shopping for trucks at the dealer's lots afterhours."...:yikes:
     
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